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This question was tagged as by the OP although it has nothing to do with dimensional analysis. All the tags tagged with have something to do with units, and that is how it should be. Therefore, I edited the post to remove the tag. However, it appears that the OP apparently reverted the edit even though I had stated in the edit reason that I did it because dimensional analysis is about manipulating units to obtain stuff *. However, since this edit reason is not visible publicly (since I only edited the tags), naturally, the OP did not understand.

I did not add in the tag again because I didn't want to cause an edit war, which is very common on Wikipedia.

So, what is do be done in such a situation? Do I just flag the question and inform the moderators?


*I couldn't write a more specific word because it could be obtaining equations, constants etc.

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    $\begingroup$ This tag does not have a description yet. By determining the correct description and getting the wiki excerpt written (a proper job for this questions) we will determine if it is appropriate to the question in question (heh!). $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jul 1 '13 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee I've always seen it used for units, and the term is usually unambiguously used for units as well. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 1 '13 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ The question uses dimensional analysis in the same way as it is used in renormalization to determin the dimension of operators, anomalous dimensions etc ... Should the tag not cover this use too? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jul 1 '13 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @dilaton as far as English goes, DA is pretty unambiguously used for units, not spatial dimensions (there's a different tag for that) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 2 '13 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth I mean DA not as defined in English as language, but its usage by physicists which apply it in the contexts I mentioned too. This is a physics site after all, so the definition physicists use should be applied. You will probably see this when you learn renormalization and such things too in QFT ;-) $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Jul 2 '13 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @filaton I meant physics. Ill look into that later $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 2 '13 at 21:20
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Removed. In such cases, leave a comment explaining the issue to the user.

If a user persists in reverting your edits, flag for mod attention. We can give a more stern "Stop it!" comment and temporarily lock the post if necessary.

In case of an ambiguity, meta is the place to discuss it.


"Dimensional analysis" is universally understood as pertaining to units, so the is used in that context.

I've added a wiki excerpt (not a very good one), feel free to improve it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the info. I just proposed a tag wiki edit to it when I noticed this post. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Jul 1 '13 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @dimension10 approved.. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 1 '13 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ While I agree that the question in question is probably not a good candidate for the tag, I'm not sure that I agree that this is a complete description of dimensional analysis. It also applies in the case where one attempts to intuit the quantities that might affect a physical situation and then construct (up to a constant) a figure of merit out of them. As in estimating the energy release of the trinity bomb from the photos of the fireball published in Time magazine, which is generally considered a more advanced method than the unit analysis we teach in introductory courses. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jul 1 '13 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Hmm, good point. I don't know how to condense that into an excerpt though.. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 1 '13 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ It's similar to the reasoning used in turbulence, but I don't know if that's dimensional-analysis so much as it's scaling... Or at least from the fluid dynamics world, those approximations to within a constant are scaling laws. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Jul 1 '13 at 20:42

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